Are you reeling from sky-high electrical bills these days? It’s been quite a year for everyone, with financial instability and increased time at home using energy. Luckily, there are many easy ways you can save on your electrical bill without the need for large time or monetary investments.
Replace outdated appliances
Old refrigerators, furnaces, and dryers use a lot more energy than modern units – so much so homeowners can often find government tax incentives and electric company discounts and rebates for replacing them with newer, more energy efficient models. They’ll often pay for themselves in a few years.
Unplug items that aren’t in use
This may be surprising, but a phone charger that isn’t charging a phone still uses electricity. Referred to as ‘vampire energy loads,’ items left plugged in often continue to drain power, adding five percent or more to your energy costs annually. These items are best plugged into a power strip that remain turned off until items are needed. Are these top offenders draining your wallet?
Cell phone and mobile device chargers, TV’s and DVD players, Video game consoles, Computers, Microwaves, Anything else with a power adaptor, indicator light, clock, or standby function
Use a smart power strip
Smart power strips with surge protection help you fight energy vampires by safeguarding against both vampire energy drain and power surges and overloads. Easily installed and adjusted via automated scheduling, Alexa/Siri/Google home, or smartphone app, these inexpensive and simply installed devices make switching equipment on and off a snap.
Avoid using appliances during “peak power” times
Did you know certain times of the day it costs more to use electricity than others, during times of ‘peak usage’ by you and your neighbors? These times vary by season and by electrical company, but you can be sure that these record-breaking North Texas heat days fall into the category. Call your provider for up-to-date information, using high-energy dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances ‘off-peak’ as often as possible.
Install dimmer switches
Home lighting accounts for 12 percent of the average bill. Dimmer switches and light occupancy sensors help mitigate these costs, offering variable illumination to reduce wattage or turn off lights when not in-use.
Lower the temperature on your water heater
Usually the third-largest energy user in your home, lowering the temperature on your tank-style water heater to 120-degrees F offers substantial savings. Shorter showers, rather than baths can also boost savings, as can insulating your water heater tank, and turning it off when it’s not in use, such as while you’re on vacation.
Wash laundry in cold water
Ninety percent of the energy used to wash your clothes is attributable to water heating. Only 10 percent goes to washer operation. On heavily soiled or oily clothes, hot water may help. With bacteria, however, water must boil for a significant time (3+ minutes) to kill anything of significance. For the majority of clothes, cold water works fine. Cold water is also the gentlest option for clothes, extending their life and adding to savings.
Get a programmable thermostat
Smart and programmable thermostats help you save by adjusting temperatures when your family is away from the home. Your home’s largest energy consumer, every degree of adjustment, depending on the season, can reduce your bills by one percent. And those savings add up: Depending on the model chosen, today’s latest smart thermostat technology offers savings of from 10-23 percent annually.
Turn off the heated dry feature on your dishwasher
Using the dishwasher versus hand-washing saves water and energy and using the air-dry cycle over the heated-dry feature saves about 15 percent of the dishwasher’s total energy use.